Caryn Heldt

Caryn Heldt


  • Director, Health Research Institute
  • James and Lorna Mack Endowed Chair in Continuous Processing
  • Professor, Chemical Engineering
  • PhD, North Carolina State University


Dr. Caryn L. Heldt is the Director of the Health Research Institute, the James and Lorna Mack Chair in Continuous Processing, Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and an Affiliate Professor in Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University. She received her BS in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 2001. Upon receiving her PhD in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 2008, she joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for her 2-year postdoctoral training. In 2015, Dr. Heldt was awarded an NSF CAREER award to study virus surface chemistry. Her lab is focused on the purification, removal, inactivation and stabilization of viruses and gene therapy vectors.


The Heldt Bioseparations laboratory is interested in understanding viral surface interactions at a chemical and molecular level and apply what we learn to biotherapeutic manufacturing. Biotherapies are products that are made from cells and used to improve human health. Their manufacturing is complicated by the complex melee that comes from cells and other living things. The lab’s focus is in different aspects of viruses in biomanufacturing. The virus could be the product, like in vaccines and gene therapies. Or it could be a contaminate, as in antibody production. By understanding the underlying scientific principles of how compounds and surfaces interact with viruses, processes can be improved to be more energy efficient, cost less, and be more productive.

Links of Interest

Research Interests

  • Bioseparations
  • Virus removal and detection
  • Biosensors